Yücel Güçlü

Keywords: Atatürk, Turkey, Turkish Foreign Policy, History

Abstract

The basic foreign policy of Turkey under Atatürk was one of friendship with all its neighbours and non-involvement in Great Power politics. Atatürk was essentially a realist. He repudiated adventurism and expansionism. What Turkey wanted was to accomplish its internal reconstruction in peace. The major stance of Atatürk's diplomacy was not only pacific, but was also clearly respectful of law. Since the Republic of Turkey came into existence, the main background of Turkish foreign policy had been friendship with the Soviets. Good relations with Russia guaranteed Turkey's continued security on its northeastern frontier and in the Black Sea. Following the Italian conquest of Ethiopia and basically on account of this fact a Turco-British rapprochement started to take shape since 1935. Close co-operation between Turkey and Britain during the Montreux Straits Conference further accelerated the pace. Another aspect of Turkish foreign policy was the Balkan Entente of 1934 to guard against aggression in the region. Turkey's part in the Saadabad Pact of 1937 had also been active and enthusiastic. Regaining of Turkish sovereignty over the Straits at the Montreux Conference and winning back of the district of Hatay were among the most important successes of the Turkish diplomacy under Atatürk's auspices.